Picture it. Sicily, 1932.
Halloween 1992. My older cousin handed us the keys to her apartment with very specific instructions: Don’t fuck my house up. And out the door she went. We had the house for the night. We always had her house for the night. Some people wanted to be like Mike, I wanted to be like KB. While she struggled with demons that we were not quite grown enough to understand, she was so unapologetic in her sexual freedom. To an awkward, insecure teenage girl, she was #goals.
All of my firsts happened at her house. All of them. She was my intro course to being single, sexual and the art of lovers. We could ask her anything and we did. Her unconventional manner left little for the imagination. For as much freedom as she encouraged, there was this mechanism of tough love . You weren’t going to have any endearing talks about saving it for marriage.
She was not going to wipe your tears or help you gather yourself after your first heartbreak. She would pass that joint and make a short statement about all the other boys out here (“Girl! Fuck him! All this damn dick out here!”) and be puzzled about you actually stopping to give tear-filled fuck. Kim was numb. She did things to stay that way too. It wasn’t until years later that I learned why.
Back to Halloween ’92 though. It was our senior year of high school. While graduation was still a few months away, Senioritis had set it. We were already wiggling our toes in the sea of freedom. It was homecoming weekend and my friends and I had decided that we didn’t want to go to the school dance. We had booked a suite at the Courtyard hotel, for an after-party on Saturday.
This Friday night though, this was for us to piddle around in pretend grown-ness. Sitting around the table, passing those thin ass joints around, I remember my 17-year old self feeling so good in that moment.
While the events of the night picked up speed in a Boone’s Farm and Marijuana haze, no part of me was thinking about giving up any virginal ass that night. I never thought about that part. Sure, we were inviting some older guys over but they were just supposed to be the liquor connect. I wasn’t interested in much more.
I wanted to be noticed, not fucked.
I was a self-described tomboy. I was careful to never take myself too seriously around boys. I was the loud, funny one who would hook them up with my friends. It was safer that way.
Once puberty set in, the boys my age made me feel like a novelty, someone to shower with tons of attention and not in a good way. I was teased for my large lips, my dark skin, my huge boobs. So I ran from it. I can remember purposely holding my lips in while in class, so that no one said anything. I couldn’t do much about my skin, but my clothes were always baggy. I sealed the deal by becoming the super-friend; every cool dude’s home-girl. The older guys were a different breed though.
After the drinks and herb slowed, we started pairing off on couches, floors and in bedrooms. I found myself on my little cousin’s single bed with my 22 year-old suitor (I made that shit sound clean, didn’t I?). I knew that I was not leaving this room the same way I came in. He and I had been talking for awhile and he made it crystal clear that the end result would be his acquisition of the drawls.
My friends always had these bomb ass stories about these sensational hookups and sessions with these dudes who could not get enough of them. What I got was about an hour of kissing, pants rubbing and weird finger-poking convincing. What I wasn’t expecting was a good three-minutes of thrusting, and I definitely wasn’t expecting the confusion. I didn’t want that shit for real.
My virginity was never a problem for me but those other problems that I had – low self-esteem for sure – were the problem. I thought almost immediately after, “I have to do this with every boyfriend now?”
No, I didn’t. But nobody told me that part either.
So I make it a point, whether I’m channeling my inner cousin Kim or the tomboy who’s still very much a part of me, to practice Pussy Mindfulness. She ain’t just gonna be out here purring for anyone. Let’s not be mistaken, there is not an itch that goes unscratched but the scratcher, ahhhh.. that’s the difference.
We have to teach our girls what no one taught us. That physical attraction, desire, and even exploration are very normal, good things to explore when you’re ready. We keep virginity in this sacred little white box and that just ain’t the case anymore. Porn was something that we had to watch on that scrambled channel. It is now at the fingertips of any ten year old who types her curiosity in a search bar.
The goal is not to raise harlots and whores, hot girls and big ole freaks. The goal is to empower our young ladies to feel comfortable asking questions, and armoring in a way that doesn’t provoke fear, but power instead. My lesson in sexuality was, “You’re bleeding now. If a boy touches you down there, you’ll get pregnant.”
Didn’t stop me though, did it? Let’s take the chains off of that dialogue.